Optical dating of sediments in Wadi Sabra (SW Jordan)


At Wadi Sabra (SW Jordan) human occupation dates back to the Palaeolithic and Epipalaeolithic. Although there is stratigraphic correlation based on archaeological finds of Ahmarian origin, numerical age estimates are lacking. We applied single-aliquot optical dating of coarse grained quartz of wadi deposits and investigated the luminescence properties in detail to achieve more accurate age information about the time of human occupation. Weak luminescence signals and scattered dose distributions characterise the multi-grain aliquots. The residual doses of the investigated modern wadi sediment are between 0 and 7 Gy. Moreover, comparison of equivalent dose (De) values of 1 mm and 8 mm aliquots shows higher equivalent doses for the large aliquots. Both experiments indicate that the luminescence signal is partially bleached prior to deposition. The dose distributions of all samples are broadly scattered and have overdispersion values between 25 and 43%, some samples are significantly skewed. The shape of the dose distributions points to other sources of scatter, in addition to partial bleaching. Comparison of 1 mm multi-grain and single-grain data demonstrates that the luminescence signal of one multi-grain aliquot most likely is from a single grain. For this reason, variation in the number of photon counts due to the weak luminescence intensity and variations in beta microdosimetry have a bigger impact on the spread of dose distributions. However, we cannot quantify the particular impact of partial bleaching, weak luminescence intensity and beta microdosimetry. To account for the spread of the dose distribution, we use the central age model to calculate equivalent doses. Age calculations yield results in the range of 30–48 ka.


Klasen, N., Hilgers, A., Schmidt, C., Bertrams, M., Schyle, D., Lehmkuhl, F., Richter, J., Radtke, U. (2013): Optical dating of sediments in Wadi Sabra (SW Jordan). Elsevier – In: Quaternary Geochronology , Vol. 18, p: 9-16, DOI: 10.1016/j.quageo.2013.08.002

Authors KLASEN, N. and HILGERS, A. and SCHMIDT, C. and BERTRAMS, M. and SCHYLE, D. and LEHMKUHL, F. and RICHTER, J. and RADTKE, U.
Type article
Title Optical dating of sediments in Wadi Sabra (SW Jordan)
DOI 10.1016/j.quageo.2013.08.002
Journal Quaternary Geochronology
Year 2013
Volume 18
Pages 9-16
Publisher Elsevier
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